Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo, Uncategorized

It’s Novembeeeeer

Wow.  It’s been like 3 weeks since I’ve posted.  It’s been a busy time.  I went to Florida and Des Moines for work, then I went to NYC for play (visit the bros), and now I’m finally back home for a few solid weeks.  I have another trip to Des Moines in early December (Business Analyst Boot Camp) and then no more trips on the horizon.  Which makes me both happy and sad.  I’ve found that I’m rarely ever in exactly one mood or feel one way about anything.  I’m happy tinged with sadness or looking forward to an event and looking forward to it being over, so I can be at  home in bed.  You get the idea.  Anyway, I digress.

Due to the traveling and getting used to the new season/lack of light, I’ve gained about 3-5 lbs over the past few weeks.  I’ve been eating out more, drinking more delicious beer, and not exercising as much.  It’s a dangerous combination.  I’m pretty sure that if I reign in the cheats (alcohol, chocolate, donuts at work, etc.), I’ll normalize pretty quickly.  At least, I’m hoping so.  This will be my first winter fully paleo.  In reading the paleo blogs and posts, I was looking forward to pure bliss over these short days – no winter blues for Hlo this year! HA!  The winter blues have hit me harder than I ever remember.  I blame it on a confluence of events.  1.  I was outside A LOT this summer – more than any other year.  My body got used to copious amounts of sunshine, and when that sunshine went away, so did my good spirits.  2.  For a variety of reasons, it’s been a stressful month, which  is hard on the disposition 3.  I’ve not been following the paleo diet strictly.  I’ve been eating more dairy than usual and drinking more beer (gluten!) than usual.  That exacerbates my allergies and throws me out of whack.

But now that I’ve identified what I think to be the culprits, I can go about fixing them.  Right now I am sitting in front of my Light Therapy light, which really does seem to help.  I just planned out a week’s worth of 100% paleo meals, and today we biked and raked, so I got some vitamin D and some exercise.  We’ll see what a difference this makes.

I haven’t been all bad, though.  I have made a couple of tasty recipes lately.

I made Garlic Pulled Pork again.  This time I put the garlic rub on the meat the night before and then stuck the roast in the Nesco Roaster on about 200 for about 5 hours.  I also didn’t put the fresh garlic INTO the meat.  It turned out FANTASTIC.  We ate it last night with cauliflower and spinach sauteed in coconut oil.  We also ate some for breakfast.  I sauteed it with coconut oil, fried some eggs, and covered it all with avocado.  Amazing.

I also made 5 Ingredient Breakfast Stuffed Acorn Squash.  This turned out good, but next time I would NOT crack the egg in the squash and bake it in the oven.  I left it in the oven FOREVER, and the egg still did not bake.  I had to scoop the mess out and fry it on the stove top.  I don’t think it’s necessary to stuff everything back into the acorn squash skin and bake it, unless you are into presentation, which I’m not.  I just am into tasty food.  This was tasty, but next time I’ll make it the easy way.

I also made Cream Chicken Casserole.  As you can see, I’m a big fan of!  She has great recipes.  This recipe made a TON of food.  We ate it for supper, breakfast, lunch, supper, and still had some leftover. Tim even liked it, even though the base is made from coconut milk.  I did notice that my stomach was a little upset after eating it – maybe due to the coconut milk and hot spices?  Tim noticed it as well, so the next time we ate it, he had toast with it.  That seemed to help.

And that’s it for tasty recipes as of late.  I’m attempting to cook a duck tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness

The Week in Recipes

We had some more great meals this week.    I rehashed some old favorites – Asian Pork Meatballs with Dipping Sauce, Sweet Potato Salad, Grilled Eggs with Mexican Chorizo.  They were all absolutely delicious.  I also tried two new recipes:

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread – This bread was super tasty.  I used 3/4 cup of almond butter, with a little smidge of macademia nut butter, since I didn’t have any sunbutter.  The title says it all – it was super moist and nice and chocolately.  I think you could even use less honey, and it would still taste great.

Cowboy Steak with Chimichurri Sauce – I used New York Strip steaks for this recipe (the recipe calls for “cowboy steaks.”  I have no idea what that is!!).  I used a fresh parsley and oregano from my garden, and the chimichurri sauce turned out delicious.  We don’t have high -quality olive oil in the house right now (just using the HyVee brand), but the sauce still turned out great.  Make this recipe!  You won’t be sorry!

And that was our week in food.  Now I need to jet to go by groceries for this week.  I think I’m going to try my hand at beet chips.  Wish me luck!

Cooking/Recipes, Uncategorized

Celebration of food

Tim and I are having an all-around lovely weekend, and like all lovely weekends, it was capped from start to end with deeelicious food.

Ben and Leah visited us for the weekend.  It’s been months since we’ve seen them – I last saw them before I became an accountant and now I am already almost not an accountant – more on that later, maybe.

Anyway, they arrived Friday night, and we were all starving.  We’ve been hearing good things about La Rancherita in Rock Island, so we headed off.  It was a cool, brightly lit Mexican restaurant with tasty pico de gallo and delicious tacos.  The crowd was very eclectic – a mix of races and styles and party sizes.  We saw everything from hipsters to gangstas.  For dessert we introduced Ben and Leah to the joys of Checkers apple pies.  We got 4 for $2.12, and they were perfectly delicious.

For breakfast on Saturday, Tim made his ultra-tasty egg, cheese, Canadian bacon, and  English muffin sandwiches.  He fries the egg perfectly, so that the yolk is the perfect state of gelatinous.  After doing a little shopping at Greatest Grains and the mall, we returned back to the house for a snack lunch of $7.00 Tillamook cheddar cheese, braunschweiger, saltines and cans of Great River Pale Ale.  While the boys played video games and Leah busted through advanced Soduko puzzles, I made guaucamole using this excellent recipe.  The freeze-squeezed lime juice gives it a tasty, fresh snap.  After contaminating all of my dishrags and utensils with tiny bits of chopped cilantro, I made chocolate chip cookies, using the recipe from the Nestle Tollhouse bag.  The trick is to get the butter at the perfect level of softness.  About 2 bursts of 10 seconds in the microwave gets it to the stage where it creates tall, fluffy, chewy cookies.

For supper Tim made amazing tortilla soup from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.  The soup, paired with the gaucamole, made for an excellent supper and uncomfortably fitting trousers.

While we digested our Mexican feast, Leah and I soundly beat Tim and Ben at euchre and then retired to watch Despicable Me.  About 30 minutes into the movie, Tim and Ben were both sound asleep.

Tim treated us with another delicious meal this morning by making buckwheat pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Ben and Leah are cast iron snobs.  Ben, unheeding my warnings, convinced Tim to cook the pancakes on our fairly unseasoned cast iron griddle (which weighs about 30 pounds).  Ben convinced Tim and that a little butter and oil would cause the pancakes to not stick.  He was wrong – stick they did.  But they were still delicious.  I am right now re-seasoning the griddle and our cast iron pan.  I have already set off the fire detector.  We have several windows wide open, but the whole house is still quite smoky.  It better be worth it.

Besides eating, we spent the rest of the weekend playing video games, drinking excellent beers (Hopalicious!), doing lots of dishes, and just all around enjoying each other company.  Hanging out with family is so awesome.  It really makes me wish that we lived closer to Ben and Leah, and/or my brothers.  Someday…